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Nutritional supplement for repeated fractures.

Species: Dog
Breed: chihuahua
Age: 1-2 years
I have a chihuahua who has broken the same leg three times in the last year. The first time he fractured his elbow and needed surgery...the last two times were a break in the exact same spot. Do you know if there is a supplement that could be given to strengthen his bones...or what could be the cause?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about Marco's accidents. I have a patient in my practice who has a similar problem. (She is an Italian Greyhound and has tiny, tiny legs.)

I am always a little leary about adding a supplement to a dog's food unless we really know that he needs it. It would be great to have your vet run a blood panel that includes calcium and phosphorus. If those two minerals are in the normal range, then there really will be no benefit to supplementing the diet to try to strengthen the bones.

Sometimes we can do more harm than good in trying to supplement a diet that doesn't need it. If we start giving calcium it can send a signal to the bones that they don't need to make calcium and this can actually cause the bones to be weaker.

Be sure that he is on a good quality diet and not one of the cheaper diets.

You could also ask your vet about an omega fatty acid supplement. While it doesn't directly strengthen the bones it does wonders for overall health.

I hope there are no more fractures for Marco!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.